Disability Elderly Japan Kobe

91-year-old’s death at care home in western Japan went unnoticed for almost two weeks

“The man was not using paid services at the facility, such as meal provision, newspaper delivery and room cleaning, and doctors were not visiting him, so the facility workers did not routinely check on him.”

From Kyodo News via The Japan Times

May 31st 2019

An elderly care home in Hyogo Prefecture said Friday that the death of a 91-year-old male resident in his room went unnoticed for more than 10 days.

Security camera footage showed the man at Palmary Inn Akashi in the city of Akashi last went outside to go shopping on May 9. He was found dead by a worker on May 22, according to the care home and the municipal government.

A postmortem examination by a doctor was unable to determine the cause of his death but it was learned that he died around May 10.

The man was not using paid services at the facility, such as meal provision, newspaper delivery and room cleaning, and doctors were not visiting him, so the facility workers did not routinely check on him.

The man’s family told the facility on May 4 that the man was not in good health, but as he went outside on a bicycle a number of times in the following days, the workers at the facility thought he had no problems, they said.

The welfare ministry asked the municipal government to provide information on the case. Following a similar solitary death at a care home in Ibaraki Prefecture in 2012, the ministry has asked municipalities to report such cases.

Palmary Inn Akashi, operated by a Kobe-based firm, has about 90 rooms with 100 residents for whom multiple care workers give around-the-clock service.

The man moved into the facility with his wife in 2000 but his spouse died in 2004.

Koki Nitanda, the manager of the facility, apologized over the incident and said the operator will make thorough checks on people entering and leaving the rooms.

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